Letter: Help Sturm, Ruger Expand in N.H.
To the Editor:
Sturm, Ruger is looking for a new plant that will bring 500 to 700 jobs (“Sturm, Ruger Eyes Texas for Big New Plant,” May 5). Problem is, it is not looking in New Hampshire. That raises some troubling questions.
Sturm, Ruger says it needs a 250,000-square-foot building. It is difficult for me to believe that a vacant building of that size does not exist somewhere in New Hampshire. There is a vacant 130,000-square-foot Lowe’s building in Claremont. Right now, it is an eyesore. Why couldn’t that building be used to start a new facility and then build onto it as more space is needed? Several years ago, Sturm, Ruger purchased the old Dorr Mill facility in Newport and tore it down. Why can’t that space be used for a new plant?
The company apparently has had trouble filling jobs at its Newport plant. People everywhere are looking for work. Has Sturm, Ruger aggressively advertised on a nationwide basis to try to attract the labor it needs to New Hampshire? Has it sought help from state and local officials in finding qualified employees? New Hampshire would eagerly welcome people coming to work at a new Sturm, Ruger plant.
Where are the state’s economic-development people in all of this? The website claims that the Department of Resources and Economic Development is a one-stop resource for businesses wanting to expand in New Hampshire. What has the department done to try to help the company expand in New Hampshire instead of moving elsewhere? Where is Gov. Hassan? If Sturm, Ruger’s president can have an audience with the governor of Texas, shouldn’t Hassan be just as eager to talk to him about the “New Hampshire Advantage” and New Hampshire’s desire to have the new jobs come here?
Sturm, Ruger is an asset to New Hampshire. This state ought to do as much as it possibly can to help the company locate those jobs here rather than elsewhere. Colorado and Connecticut are on the verge of losing gun manufacturers and well-paying jobs. New Hampshire should not go down that road.